Tag Archives: UC San Diego

Political Equator – Press

7 Jun
The U.S./Mexico border photographed by Quilian Riano

Teddy Cruz of UCSD collaborated with Oscar Romo and Andrea Skorepa to organize Political Equator #3 last week. Here is a round-up of press received by the 2-day cross-border conference:

  • BLDG BLOG “Peripheral Porosity”
  • Washington Post “Art festival organizes unusual border crossing through a drain from San Diego to Tijuana”
  • Sign-On San Diego “Unusual border crossing is called performance art”

Check SOTA for a report-back from Liz Losh (UCSD) soon.

Ken Ehrlich’s Masks, or The Illusion of Power

13 May

Last year LA based artist and lecturer from UC Riverside, Ken Ehrlich, presented on his intervention markyudof.com at the UCIRA “Future Tense” conference at UC San Diego. This video is an excerpt from the first 15 minutes of that talk and the full text is reprinted on the website Occupy Everything. In the presentation Ehrlich asked members of the audience to read aloud with him certain key concepts he wanted to highlight for discussion, as you’ll hear towards the end of the video.

Personal Reflection on UCIRA’s Conference

15 Mar

Personal Reflection on UCIRA’s 2010 State of the Arts Conference

by Van Tran, MFA candidate University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB)

 

Just over a year ago my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer and had consequently lost her job and faced home foreclosure. This personal chain of events is a symptom of larger social issues in the U.S. economy: unemployment, current health care, house foreclosures, etc. At the same time this experience falls onto me. My looming student loan debt from my undergraduate career hovers over me as a current first year graduate student in the Department of Art at UCSB – and I will inevitably face paying more college loan debt without family support.

 

Where does this leave me along my pursuit for higher education and my future as an aspiring artist as fee hikes have inflated the cost of this degree? And what about the other hundreds of UC students that had to drop out and take on second and third jobs to support them and drifted from their academic endeavors?

 

The State of The Arts (SOTA) Conference that I attended in November 2010 focused on a theme of “Future Tense: Alternative Arts and Economies.” Various issues of the current UC fee hike crisis such as the aforementioned questions were raised, and there was much discourse of the relationship between public education and the public good through a variety of discussions and presentations. I attended the conference with a small group of students led by August Black, a PhD candidate from the Media Arts and Technology department at UCSB. Our group project goal was to document the conference and record interviews from various participants. To show our collective stance, we wore silkscreened t-shirts that read, “The Future is Tense.”

 

Aside from our producing documentation, a bulk of my experience from the conference involved absorbing information. At times I found myself in a whirlwind of mixed feelings towards my current experience as a graduate student. The Talk Sandwich luncheon moderated by Dee Hibbert-Jones was an open discussion where participants built their own sandwich as a metaphor for building their own ideal education model. The group’s discussion of money issues traced back to my lingering memory of my mother’s circumstances and my current burden of growing loan debt. I thought more deeply about my place in the Department of Art and the strict emphasis on completing an MFA degree in only two years as funding seems to be an ongoing issue for all of the grads, and the graduate committee has to continually find funds to support us for our two-year program. My impending leap into the working world from my graduate education brought a heavy feeling of unpreparedness to become an institutionalized mediocre artist. This is not what I want to be nor do I want to put myself in debt for this! What solutions or alternatives can be programmed and implemented to create a more thorough study, where graduate students can take up to three years (or more if there is enough funding secured) to develop and fine tune work that is intellectually engaging in its aesthetic form and practice?

 

I grew more hope during the presentation of UCIRA funded projects and was inspired to see what some artists were already doing. The call for action in creating alternative methods as a response to the current model of art education was displayed in creative and equally engaging ways: from Tim Schwartz’ STAT-US mobile unit to Ben Lotan’s literal occupation of squatting in his on-campus work space to the Urban Research Toolkit’s creation of an online collaborative research of collective mapping, to name a few. In addition to viewing these fun and exciting projects were the conference evening receptions. These were opportunities for me to connect closely with the conference participants, UC art administrators, and faculty artists from different UC campuses. The discussions and stories that were shared among this group were ones that I would not have had in the public setting of a panel discussion or presentation. These gave me some solace in knowing that I am not alone in this current state of the arts. In spite of my own experience as a graduate student I was grateful to hear critical perspectives from many voices at the SOTA conference that gave me a sense of collectivity.

 

Van Tran is a first-year MFA student in the art department at UCSB. She is interested in public & social practice and is researching the different communities surrounding her new geography of place. More information can be found on her website: http://thinkcollectdisseminate.weebly.com/

 

Chicano Secret Service

27 Jan

The Chicano Secret Service, composed of actors and graduate students from UCSB  and UCR, performed live at UCIRA’s “Future Tense” conference in November of 2010. Here are three excerpts from the show at UC San Diego:

Reflections on UCIRA Conferences 2005-2010

19 Jan

Reflections on UCIRA Conferences 2004-2010 from Dr. Holly E. Unruh (Associate Director of UC Institute for Research in the Arts)

November 2010 marked the 4th time UCIRA held its ‘State of the Arts’ conference – an event designed to bring together artists, scholars and arts administrators from across the system and beyond. Over the course of the three days we spent at UC San Diego considering the theme Future Tense: Alternative Arts and Economies in the University, I was asked several times about the history of the ‘State of the Arts’ conferences – what differentiated each one, what sorts of discussions were generated by the different themes; how did they vary from campus to campus? But perhaps most importantly I was provoked to think about the question of what it really means to ‘do’ a system/statewide ‘arts’ conference. When we launched ‘State of the Arts’ in 2005, the stakes – for faculty and for students, for arts education, for public education in general – were much different. The idea of a conference which was more like a festival (an un-conference), celebrating and linking the arts across UC and thus across the state, was an exciting prospect to consider. As we enter the very different climate of 2011 the question looms: where to spend our efforts and our dwindling funds? What can we best accomplish with our resources and how? Should ‘State of the Arts’ continue?

Still Building workshop and installation on California student movements at UCIRA Conference (UCSD in November, 2010)

‘State of the Arts’ has now been held on the UC Santa Barbara, UC Berkeley, UC Riverside and UC San Diego campuses. One thing that has remained a constant from year to year, venue to venue, has been the urging on our part that the host campus try to include a few proven elements: a multiplicity of voices (disciplinary, generational, etc.); an emphasis on the presentation of work over ideas (doing over discourse, in our internal parlance); and that they use the conference as an opportunity to showcase the work happening on their own campus. Our hope is that by using ‘State of the Arts’ as a showcase platform they will hit upon an atmosphere that will make it more like an arts festival than academic conference. This happens when artists on the campus open up studios, labs, work spaces and even classrooms. When we get past the polished critical analysis of work already completed, it becomes clear how much of what we do in the arts in the University environment is not only grounded in solid research and theoretically sophisticated (as a traditional panel presentation will surely aim to stress) but also lively and improvisational, action-based, and focused on the testing of forms, collaborative configurations and ideas – all values UCIRA as an institution highly prizes.

Deans Panel at UCIRA's Future Tense Conference (at UCSD November, 2010)

Another thread connecting each conference has been the invitation for UC administrators to come, witness, and hopefully respond to, the work in question. Since our second conference in 2007, we have been joined each year by a panel of arts Deans from across UC. By the third time they came to ‘State of the Arts’ in 2010, the Deans were (we like to think) comfortable enough with the work we were doing  to not only speak freely about what they saw as the challenges facing UC’s arts departments in the current fiscal crisis, but also to form a working committee that hopes to engage in very concrete ways with addressing some of these issues.

Different campuses have configured the conference in different ways: In year 1 (2005) at UCSB we did not have an overarching theme, although as the board sat down to curate the panels it became clear that we were all (latently) aware of some major strengths in arts research spanning the system – strengths that seemed to need articulation, connection and discussion. Over the two days of this initial conference we witnessed a variety of projects undertaken by UC artists which exemplified what we as an institution were then calling ‘Action Research’ – work which took what could easily have been purely academic questions out into the real world for testing, involved students as co-learners in the endeavor and co-producers of the knowledge, and which more often that not was as deeply collaborative in nature as it was spatially embedded in particular situations or issues. We also found that numerous individuals shared an interest in questions of habitation, design and architecture and the linked issue of sustainability – conceived both in economic, environmental and also in social terms. Finally, a strong theme to many of the presentations was the cross-cutting work being done to link art, science and technology throughout the UC system. A major project we highlighted that year was Marko Peljhan’s (Art./MAT, UCSB – and now our UCIRA co-Director) Makrolab.

Continue reading

State of the Arts with Grant Kester

2 Dec

From November 19-21st at UC San Diego the conference “Future Tense” was hosted by UCIRA in collaboration with the Dean of Arts and Humanities at UCSD. Over the next few weeks we will be posting videos from the conference on SOTA and the recently launched UCIRA Youtube channel. The first video (presented here in 4 parts) includes an introduction to the theme of the conference by UCSD Arts and Humanities Dean Seth Lerer and a Keynote outlining some of the conceptual and historical issues related to the conference.

Oct 7th at UCSD with Cara Baldwin

14 Oct

October 7 at UCSD

At UCSD a group of approximately 300 students, workers and faculty members gathered at the Silent Tree outside Geisel Library to shout an alarm. Their message? Once again, the UCOP (UC Office of the President) has proposed a further fee increase of as much as 20%, a year after they voted in an increase of 32%. Indeed, according to UC Budget Director Patrick Lenz, the UC Regents will consider a tuition increase of up to 20% at their November meeting” — 9% in Summer 2009, 32% Fall 2009, %20 Fall 2010. This is a % 70 increase, in compound terms, in a mere year and a half. Our question: Will we stop them?

For many witnessing the gathering, these increases, and the business practices that accompany them -such as predatory lending- were news. Throngs of incoming undergraduate students looked on, and many joined their fellows on Library Walk to learn, for the first time, that they were entering into a field of conflict in which they would be asked to act as isolated and passive consumers or socially-engaged and active producers of their own education.

Across the UC’s, this unfolding drama spooled out further, as institutionally-funded student bodies and groups aggressively assumed control of what they apparently perceived as a formless and undifferentiated ‘student body’ rather than a mutually assembled commons ready and able to imagine and enact change in the present. These bodies were told to sit. They were photographed. Sitting. Listening. They were chided for their inactivity. They were told that their experience in this moment was ‘activism.’

Students and Faculty from UCSD Department of Visual Art listened, and waited, respectfully, for a moment of open and shared exchange that never came. We, each of us, and together, have recognized and shown a deep investment in the possibilities for social change in this moment. Brett Stallbaum responded to this scene actively-raising his voice in response / interjection to the canned speeches presented by self-appointed and institutionally-funded student ‘leaders.’ We were told to write a poem, introduce ourselves to our neighbors and sign a circulating petition.

October 7 at UCSD
Cara Baldwin
Department of Visual Arts: Art History, Theory, Criticism and Practice

At UCSD a group of approximately 300 students, workers and faculty members gathered at the Silent Tree outside Geisel Library to shout an alarm. Their message? Once again, the UCOP has proposed a further fee increase of as much as 20%, a year after they voted in an increase of 32%. Indeed, according to UC Budget Director Patrick Lenz, the UC Regents will consider a tuition increase of up to 20% at their November meeting” — 9% in Summer 2009, 32% Fall 2009, %20 Fall 2010. This is a % 70 increase, in compound terms, in a mere year and a half. Our question: Will we stop them?

For many witnessing the gathering, these increases, and the business practices that accompany them -such as predatory lending- were news. Throngs of incoming undergraduate students looked on, and many joined their fellows on Library Walk to learn, for the first time, that they were entering into a field of conflict in which they would be asked to act as isolated and passive consumers or socially-engaged and active producers of their own education.

Across the UC’s, this unfolding drama spooled out further, as institutionally-funded student bodies and groups aggressively assumed control of what they apparently perceived as a formless and undifferentiated ‘student body’ rather than a mutually assembled commons ready and able to imagine and enact change in the present. These bodies were told to sit. They were photographed. Sitting. Listening. They were chided for their inactivity. They were told that their experience in this moment was ‘activism.’

Students and Faculty from UCSD Department of Visual Art listened, and waited, respectfully, for a moment of open and shared exchange that never came. We, each of us, and together, have recognized and shown a deep investment in the possibilities for social change in this moment. Brett Stallbaum responded to this scene actively-raising his voice in response / interjection to the canned speeches presented by self-appointed and institutionally-funded student ‘leaders.’ We were told to write a poem, introduce ourselves to our neighbors and sign a circulating petition.

We wanted to sit-in at the newly opened CHASE bank branch in the Student Union behind us. We wanted to register our own discontent and resistance in ways that were not only unimaginable to those behind microphones staged in front of us–but in ways that were apparently unacceptable.

One question hangs in the air above us and calls out for response;

‘Will we stop them?’ And how?

Oct 7th at UCSD (stephanie lie and brett stallbaum in background)

We wanted to sit-in at the newly opened CHASE bank branch in the Student Union behind us. We wanted to register our own discontent and resistance in ways that were not only unimaginable to those behind microphones staged in front of us–but in ways that were apparently unacceptable.

One question hangs in the air above us and calls out for response:

‘Will we stop them?’ And how?

Cara Baldwin is a PhD candidate in the Department of Visual Arts: Art History, Theory, Criticism and Practice at UCSD.

Updates on UCSD’s Dominguez

6 Oct

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a new piece about UCSD’s Ricardo Dominguez. Here is an excerpt and a link.

His field, variously known as new-media art, tactical media, or digital art, emerged in academe in the past few decades. The first generation of new-media artists who migrated to academe include Mark Tribe, now at Brown University, and the social-activist pranksters the Yes Men, Andy Bichlbaum (real name: Jacques Servin), at Parsons the New School for Design, and Mike Bonanno (real name: Igor Vamos), at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. They are, like Dominguez, “deeply anti-establishment,” says Grant Kester, chair of San Diego’s visual-arts department. As one journalist put it, Dominguez has spent a lifetime “utilizing electronics and the Internet to piss off just about every high-level administrative authority in the U.S.” So it was perhaps inevitable that he would eventually grate on the mores of a large institution like the University of California system.

Read more here http://chronicle.com/article/Digitally-Incorrect/124649/

After the article went to print, the editors posted this note:

Shortly after this article went to press, the University of California and Ricardo Dominguez settled the investigation into the March 4 “virtual sit-in” at the Web site of the university system’s office of the president. Dominguez will stay in his current position and has agreed not to interfere with the server of the office of the president or use university resources in any way that “might result in permanently or temporarily damaging the integrity or availability” of other Web sites.

But as of now there is no updated information about the case on the b.a.n.g Lab’s website or anywhere else

You can find out about virtual sit-ins for this upcoming October 7th day of action here: http://october7thecd.wordpress.com/

Planning for the School Year with micha cárdenas (UCSD)

14 Sep

Last month SOTA sent out a Q&A to the UCIRA list-serv about preparing for the school year and got back some great responses, posted here. After it was posted we got one more really insightful response from micha cárdenas at UC San Diego. If you would like to respond to this or other Q & As post a comment on this text or email ucirasota@gmail.com.

Q: Recently on Remaking the University blog Michael Meranze (UCLA) reflected on the summer and the upcoming school year: “This year crucial issues about the organization of University life and work, about the relationships between the campuses, the intersection between UC and the larger Higher Education system, about pensions, staff layoffs, and student fees are going to confront us all. This summer may have been quiet—but in all likelihood it is the calm before the storm.” SOTA wants to know what challenges do people need to be preparing for, thinking about as the school year begins? What is on your mind?

A: micha cárdenas (Lecturer, Visual Arts Department and Critical Gender Studies and Artist/Theorist, bang.lab; all at UCSD) – For me, what’s on my mind is the question “how far can I go?” As a lecturer, I’m very aware that I can lose my job for participating in indefinite strikes, blockades and occupations, but they are the only actions that I think are going to be effective at this point. We’re all coming back to a university reshaped by budget cuts, and we have to choose between acceptance and noncompliance. For myself, at UCSD, I was saddened last year to see so many large marches and single or few day strikes totally co-opted by [UC President] Yudof. Across the UC, huge marches happen, and Yudof puts out a press release the next day saying how proud he is of the democracy in action in our school system, when really there is none. Really, we come back to fewer jobs, friends laid off, fewer classes for students and more tuition. I applaud and support efforts Ken spoke of to coordinate a non-payment plan of the tuition increases. I feel myself, like the only thing on my mind is how to join and support efforts that are continuing to start blockades and occupations, because I think we’re long past any semblance of democracy or negotiation and are at the point where we have to either stop the machine of privatization or help it function. I was also saddened by what I saw happen at many UCSD rallies where a diversity of tactics was not respected. I saw march organizers, “protest police”, literally break up and stop multiple street blockades at UCSD last school year, and that can’t happen. Hopefully those of us willing to stop the working of the university in order to open a space to re-imagine and reclaim education can see now that the name “activist” or the “organizer” t-shirt is not enough to indicate an ally, and that we have to find solidarity and build it with those people we share an affinity and a passion with and act on that solidarity. I for one, am ready to put my body on the line and hope I can find some people who are willing to join me.

Calm Before the Storm: Gearing Up For 2010/2011

31 Aug
Q&A is an irregular series on SOTA which will pose a question to a small group of faculty, staff or students from different campuses and compile their responses. If you would like to respond to the question, please do so in the comments section of this post or email ucirasota@gmail.com. Thanks to Ken Ehrlich, Marc Herbst, Peter Krapp, Brett Stalbaum, and Fred Lonidier for their responses. “Calm Before the Storm” is the 3rd installment of Q & A:
Q: Recently on Remaking the University blog Michael Meranze (UCLA) reflected on the summer and the upcoming school year: “This year crucial issues about the organization of University life and work, about the relationships between the campuses, the intersection between UC and the larger Higher Education system, about pensions, staff layoffs, and student fees are going to confront us all. This summer may have been quiet—but in all likelihood it is the calm before the storm.” SOTA wants to know what challenges do people need to be preparing for, thinking about as the school year begins? What is on your mind?
A: Ken Ehrlich (UCR – Lecturer, Art Department) – The seeds of non-cooperation have been planted. Students I’m speaking with are organizing a massive outreach campaign to refuse to pay further fee increases. They understand that such an action would only work if significant numbers of students were willing to face the consequences of non-cooperation. Faculty members on several campuses have also been mulling over active refusal of certain restrictions that limit the productive pursuit of research and instruction. One concrete proposal put forth that seems to be gaining support is actively opening classes to the un-enrolled so long as it does not disrupt the learning environment. The contest over the meaning of “public” education is far from over. It seems clear that both faculty and students refuse to make demands on an administration whose priorities lie not with education but with efficiency and further marginalization. Students, in particular, are shifting from protest to action. Continue reading

Fred Lonidier on Labor, Arts and UCSD

31 Aug
SOTA Interview with UCSD’s Fred Lonidier, (President of UC-AFT San Diego Local 2034)

Fred Lonidier studied at Yuba College and San Francisco State (graduate work in sociology and photography) before becoming a member of the UCSD graduate program. He joined the faculty in 1972. Lonidier’s work deals with the sociological possibilities of photography applied to social change and has been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography, the Oakland Museum, the Long Beach Museum, the San Francisco Art Institute, the Focus Gallery, the Kitchen, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York City, the Los Angeles Institute for Contemporary Art, the Whitney in New York, and the Friends of Photography in Carmel. He has also had exhibits in a number of union halls such as the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, ACTWU, SEIU, CWA, and Gallery 1199 of the NYC Hospital Workers Union. In 1983 he placed a large photo/text installation in the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council. He has been the guiding energy behind Labor Link TV which cablecasts on three channels in San Diego County.

“Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?" 9 digital pigment print panels, 72" x 54"

How do you think that conflicts around labor and economics in the university uniquely effect the arts?

Well, every art department, gallery, performance space, etc. face cuts.  I am not in the loop for everything one would consider the arts in the U.C. System, but at UCSD we will not really have an art gallery any more and spaces we have been in line for in Mandeville Center when music moved out and into a new building are being held up because renovation funds are limited.  There are two HUGE recital spaces empty and unused starting last year due to funding shorts.

UCSD is a science campus with medical and engineering schools and there are privately funded institutes all over the place, so it is just obvious to the eye when driving in and walking around where the power and wealth are.  One measure will show up later as, after a hiring freeze for two years, a few replacement and new FTA (Full Time Employee) are coming.  The arts and humanities will, of course, apply but we will not know until later the allocations across the campus nor the system.
Continue reading

Why I made a formal statement to the UCSD Police

26 Aug
Brett Stalbaum at UCSD Police Department

Brett Stalbaum at UCSD Police Department to out himself over virtual sit-ins 7/21/2010 (Image: Paula Poole)

Many people have heard about the criminal investigation of UC San Diego Professor Ricardo Dominguez related to his symbolic protest actions aka Virtual Sit-ins this past March 4th on the servers of the UC Office of the President (UCOP). Republished below is a report back from one of Dominguez’s frequent collaborators and fellow UCSD faculty Brett Stalbaum. This case is extremely important as a precedent setting conflict, bringing together the activism around the UC budget crisis, academic freedom, tenure, and the intersections of online and border activism.

To learn more about the “investigations” and support for Professor Ricardo Dominguez and Electronic Disturbance Theater/b.a.n.g lab click here read and watch these news reports about the “investigations”:

How to help:

  • Donate to the legal fund supporting Dominguez here.
  • Sign the “Stop De-Tenuring of Ricardo Dominguez” petition here.

Reposted from Walkingtools.net:

“I hope you agree that our tradition
of view-point neutral application of
policies governing professional
conduct by faculty and staff is one
of the great strengths we rely on to
demonstrate our commitment to
the public good.”

University of California President Mark Yudof
(Response to UC MRG Core Members Letter of concern over the persecution of Professor Dominguez, April 20th 2010.)

In this post, I would like to highlight the issue of view-point neutral application of University of California Policy by both the University of California Office of the President and UCSD. On July 21st2010 I went to the UCSD Police Department to give a formal statement on the criminal investigation of Professor Ricardo Dominguez. Dominguez is being investigated for a Virtual Sit-in held on March 4th of this year, and yet apparently not (the Police seemed not to know of it) for a virtual sit-in held on March 19th-21st 2008. In fact, as noted elsewhere, UCSD Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Paul Drake actually promoted Dominguez for the latter, yet two years later is trying to fire him for the former, in spite of some very disturbing facts including that both virtual sit-in events involved the same servers (ucop.edu and bang.calit2.net.) First you love him then you hate him. What really is happening here?

The history of Virtual Sit-ins is something that Ricardo and I both know something about, having co-founded the Electronic Disturbance Theater and produced the original FloodNet Applet (along with Carmin Karasic and Stefan Wray) in 1998, and further having implemented many performances (peaceful online protests against President Bill Clinton, his administration and “his” Pentagon, as well as Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo and others) in support of the Zapatista indigenous communities of Chiapas. In the interstice between then and now, Ricardo has remained one of the leading theorists and art practitioners of Electronic Civil Disobedience (a term he helped coin with the Critical Art Ensemble previous to our work with the Electronic Disturbance Theater.) Also in that time, I worked on other collaborations (C5 Corporation, paintersflat.net) where I developed a practice in location aware media in the arts. (GPS, mobile phones, code…) Our practice as active collaborators was rekindled in recent years working on an Artivist project titled the Transborder Immigrant Tool, which has been denounced by Republican Congressmen, and has generated troubling death threats from the public.

There was a reason I moved on from EDT for what has turned out to be close to a decade now. Simply stated: Virtual sit-ins occupy a gray area between (as Ricardo often says) affect in effect. Virtual sit-ins don’t hurt anything or anyone, yet they have some of the appearances of being a bot-net attack, the latter being unambiguously illegal. Our development of virtual sit-in technologies was always focused on playing in the gray spaces of the affective and appearance, specifically designed for purposes of 1) Artivism, and 2) conceptual art practice exploring the unique material and social dimensions of a new medium: the internet. Virtual sit-ins have never been effective in terms of damaging servers, and have been ridiculed by hackers as technically ineffective. But the only reason I quit developing new software myself (circa 2000) was that professional system admins – and no doubt many public relations consultants – were onto our game. (And, probably unimpressed with artivistic gestures such as causing the names of the people massacred at Acteal to appear in President Zedillo’s web server’s error logs.) With few exceptions – and at that mostly triggered by under-trained government bureaucrats – virtual-sit ins simply stopped garnering much of the kind of art, media, public and critical attention that we had previously been able to divert to Chiapas. And when my friend and C5 colleague Bruce Gardner gave me a GPS device to use in 2000, and shared some of his early computer code with me, I became interested in a practice exploring another new medium that for me, frankly, had very little political dimension.

Continue reading

Online Education: Q&A with Peter Krapp (UCI) and Brett Stalbaum (UCSD)

24 Aug

Q&A is an irregular series on SOTA which will pose a question to a small group of faculty, staff or students from different campuses and compile their responses. If you would like to respond to the question, please do so in the comments section of this post or email ucirasota@gmail.com. Here is the 2nd SOTA Q&A:

Q: Online education is getting pushed in the UC Regent’s Commission on the Future report and through Regent Blum’s direct ties to for-profit online education companies. We are wondering what arts professors across the system are thinking they will do when it gets proposed that art classes be taught online?

Kid on Computer

Photo by Arvind Balaraman

A: Peter Krapp (UCI) – This is a major scandal. If the US Senate hearings have started to shine a light on the practices of for-profit higher ed, then why is UC still indulging in dot-com fantasies? Who does [UC Dean Christopher] Edley hope to please with his authoritarian imposition of wage suppression, layoffs, and watered-down education?

A: Brett Stalbaum (UCSD) – My experience is that when faculty committees examine the application of online education to large undergraduate classes, they properly identify the hidden costs, the mixed experience of peer institutions, and very real concerns about quality. These same committees often find on the contrary that distance education could be a real revenue generator at the graduate level – especially in programs where producing a thesis requiring the student to be in a different location. (Say a deeply engaged, situated anthropology study or special collections.) Drafts and viva voce examination and support can be done with word processors, email, Skype, and other low cost tools. Using online technologies for “savings” is probably a folly tied to special interests who want to sell the UC on expensive platforms, and simultaneously distracts from the development of potentially very profitable, specialized graduate programs that are bound to our main mission as a research system.

On Efficiency: Q&A with Peter Krapp (UCI) and Brett Stalbaum (UCSD)

19 Aug

Q&A is an irregular series on SOTA which will pose a question to a small group of faculty, staff or students from different campuses and compile their responses. If you would like to respond to the question, please do so in the comments section of this post or email ucirasota@gmail.com. Here is the first SOTA Q&A:

Q: How are you balancing the need for efficiency in your programs with the recognition that the arts cannot fit into an efficiency model?

Graph

by jscreationzs

A: Peter Krapp (UCI) – Efficiency does not have to be defined by corporate metrics. UC is a global leader in research, education, and service. Why can’t we
stop making important what corporate managers consider measurable, and start making measurable what is important?

There seem to be too few people in positions of influence at UCOP who have any significant experience on a UC main campus teaching undergraduates. Appropriate metrics need to be developed by faculty who are fully engaged in, and familiar with, the core mission.

A: Brett Stalbaum (UCSD) – The arts can and often do fit into an “efficiency model”, that they don’t is a canard that we largely impose on ourselves when we nod in agreement with the president. UC Administrators regularly fail to take into account that all enrolled students bring in the same state funds, and especially with fees increasing in recent years, departments such as English and Literature are cash cows because the students themselves don’t use nearly the same capital intensive infrastructure as students in the sciences do. Further, humanities and social science departments tend to have heavier teaching loads and lower salaries! The president’s assumption is almost certainly false, but don’t expect robust apples to apples efforts to correctly quantify any of these questions to come from UCOP. This president is not an honest player.

UCIRA: State of the Arts Conference at UCSD

17 Aug

UCIRA presents the 2010 State of the Arts Conference at UC San Diego

We are pleased to announce that registration is now available for the 4th annual University of California system-wide UCIRA State of the Arts Conference. This year’s conference will take place on the beautiful La Jolla campus of UC San Diego November 18th – 21st.

The theme of the conference, Future Tense: Alternative Arts and Economies in the University, provides a broad umbrella under which to consider the encroaching privatization of public education and the complex mix of economic, cultural and social forces currently placing pressure on the status of the arts within the research university, as well as the notion of the university itself. The conference schedule will include a welcome reception, social networking dinners, keynote speakers, presenters, performers, panels, a Pecha Kucha* style presentation, and the opportunity to attend music and theatre performances on campus.

For more information and to register for the conference please visit: http://www.ucira.ucsb.edu/conference.html.

This year is also UCSD’s 50th Anniversary and we invite you to join the celebration. For more information please visit www.50th.ucsd.edu and http://ucsdbydesign.ucsd.edu/SaveTheDate/.

We hope you’ll join in our journey through the conference, the state of the arts, and the UCSD campus as a shared experience.

See you in November!

The 2010 State of the Arts Planning Committee

Kim Yasuda + Marko Peljhan, UCIRA Co-Directors

Seth Lerer, Dean of Arts and Humanities, UC San Diego

*Pecha Kucha is a simple presentation format where the presenter shows 20 images, each for 20 seconds. The images forward automatically and the presenter provides commentary.

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